Sepang gave Marc Marquez his 70th title, but only after Valentino Rossi, who had dominated the race, crashed out with just four laps to go.

Rossi had the race set right from the start. Catapulting past P1 Zarco, the Doctor grabbed the hole shot, with Miller of Alma Pramac taking third. At that point Marquez was only sixth, with his eagerness showing in a close call on team mate Dani Pedrosa.

Some of that desperation showed also in the moment that Andrea Iannone crashed out behind the hard charging Honda. In the meanwhile the two Yamahas were out front, but Marquez hunted them down eventually getting past Miller and Zarco. Now it was only Rossi up ahead.

But Rossi was a different rider to what he has been over the season, sensing victory and working at keeping his lead over Marquez. Marquez pushed hard, even taking himself through a scary moment on turn 5.

That’s when the defining moment of the race happened. Rossi lost the front of his YZR-M1 on turn 1 right in front of his fan zone. With just four laps to go and Marquez just a second behind, it was bad even if he had managed to recover – but the crash took him out.

That’s how the podium panned out – Marquez on top followed by Alex Rins, who managed to out ride Johann Zarco on the last lap. Rossi’s team mate Viñales managed to put together a ride that brought him in ahead of Pedrosa for the P4, with Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso tagging in on P6.

2018 Sepang MotoGP podium Marquez
2018 Sepang MotoGP podium

Post race Marquez commented, “It was a hard race, first of all because I was starting from seventh place. I didn’t get a perfect start, and then my first lap was good but not one of the best of my career. Step by step, I overtook some riders and got to second place. I saw that Valentino was pushing and I started to chase him, lapping at qualifying pace! But in the process, I overheated the rear tyre; the front was also warming up quickly and the feeling wasn’t good. So for a few laps, I just tried to cool down and in so doing I began to feel better and better. I saw I was getting closer to Valentino and honestly that gave me extra motivation. At that moment, it was just a matter of instinct and pushing, something that you can do when you’ve already got the Championship. Unfortunately, he made a little mistake in turn one, which is a shame as it would have been nice to see how the duel would have ended. Anyway, when I saw him crash, I just cooled down and focused on finishing the race. We won, and that was the best way to seal the Constructors Championship. I would also like to congratulate Jorge Martin and “Pecco” Bagnaia for taking Championships. We’ll celebrate together in Valencia.”

2018 MotoGP Riders

Bike NoNameTeam2018 season2017 season
93Marc MarquezRepsol Honda321298
4Andrea DoviziosoDucati220261
46Valentino RossiMovistar Yamaha195208
25Maverick ViñalesMovistar Yamaha193230
42Alex RinsSuzuki Ecstar14959
5Johann ZarcoMonster Yamaha Tech3149174
35Cal CrutchlowLCR Honda148112
9Danilo PetrucciAlma Pramac144124
29Andrea IannoneSuzuki Ecstar13370
99Jorge LorenzoDucati130137
26Dani PedrosaRepsol Honda106210
19Alvaro BautistaAngel Nieto10575
43Jack MillerAlma Pramac9182
21Franco MorbidelliEG 0,0 Marc VDS50 
41Aleix EspargaroAprilia4462
55Hafizh SyahrinMonster Yamaha Tech340 
53Tito RabatReale Avintia3535
44Pol EspargaroRed Bull KTM3555
38Bradley SmithRed Bull KTM3029
30Takaaki NakagamiLCR Honda23 
45Scott ReddingAprilia1564
17Karel AbrahamAngel Nieto1032
36Mika KallioRed Bull KTM6
6Stefan BradlLCR Honda3
30Nakasuga KatsuyukiLCR Honda2
10Xavier SimeonReale Avintia1 
51Michele PirroDucati Test team1
12Thomas LuthiEG 0,0 Marc VDS0 

2018 MotoGP Teams

Team2018 season2017 season
Repsol Honda427508
Movistar Yamaha388438
Ducati363398
Suzuki Ecstar282130
Alma Pramac235188
Monster Yamaha Tech3189258
LCR Honda174112
Angel Nieto102107
Red Bull KTM6584
Aprilia5967
EG 0,0 Marc VDS50117
Reale Avintia3673

2018 MotoGP Races

LocationDateFirstSecondThird
Spain (Valencia)18-Nov   
Malaysia4-NovMarc MarquezAlex RinsJohann Zarco
Australia28-OctMaverick ViñalesAndrea IannoneAndrea Dovizioso
Japan21-OctMarc MarquezCal CrutchlowAlex Rins
Thailand7-OctMarc MarquezAndrea DoviziosoMaverick Viñales
Spain (Aragon)23-SepMarc MarquezAndrea DoviziosoAndrea Iannone
Italy9-SepAndrea DoviziosoMarc MarquezCal Crutchlow
Britain26-Aug   
Austria12-AugJorge LorenzoMarc MarquezAndrea Dovizioso
Czech Republic5-AugAndrea DoviziosoJorge LorenzoMarc Marquez
Germany15-JulMarc MarquezValentino RossiMaverick Viñales
Netherlands1-JulMarc MarquezAlex RinsMaverick Viñales
Spain (Catalunya)17-JunJorge LorenzoMarc MarquezValentino Rossi
Italy3-JunJorge LorenzoAndrea DoviziosoValentino Rossi
France20-MayMarc MarquezDanilo PetrucciValentino Rossi
Spain (Jerez)6-MayMarc MarquezJohann ZarcoAndrea Iannone
United States22-AprMarc MarquezMaverick ViñalesAndrea Iannone
Argentina8-AprCal CrutchlowJohann ZarcoAlex Rins
Qatar18-MarAndrea DoviziosoMarc MarquezValentino Rossi

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